Covid-19 - The number of COVID-19 cases and associated deaths recorded in one single day is on the rise Romania. 4,004 cases were announced on Wednesday out of more than 44,000 tests. 83 people have died of Covid-19 and 696 are in ICUs. New Covid-19 outbreaks are emerging. In those localities where the threshold of 2 cases per thousand inhabitants has been exceeded, the authorities are starting to enforce additional protection measures. In another development, the pace of the vaccination campaign remains slow, despite repeated calls from experts. Moreover, the Delta virus strain, which is beginning to become dominant, has a higher transmission rate than the previous variants. The authorities expect more and more people to get contaminated.
Motion – Romania’s Constitutional Court is to announce the deadline for debating the Liberal Prime Minister Florin Cîţu's notification regarding the existence of a legal conflict between the Parliament and the Government in relation to the censure motion tabled by the USR-PLUS, former no. 2 in the governing coalition and the nationalist Alliance for the Union of Romanians – AUR, in opposition. The parties involved were given Wednesday as deadline to submit their views to the Constitutional Court. The Permanent Bureaus of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies believe that there is a constitutional conflict in the case of the censure motion. Instead, the Speaker of the Senate, Anca Dragu (USR-PLUS), and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Ludovic Orban (PNL), do not agree with Parliament’s unfavorable point of view, adopted with the votes of the National Liberal Party - PNL and of the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania - UDMR (in the government coalition), and also of the opposition Social Democratic Party - PSD, therefore they sent separate documents to the Constitutional Court. Ms. Dragu syas there is actually a political conflict which the Government wants to transform into a constitutional one. The government, dominated by the Liberals, claims that the no-confidence motion does not have the minimum number of valid signatures and that the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies did not inform the Government about the document on the same day it was tabled. Entitled 'Dismissal of the Cîţu Government, Romania's only chance to live!' the censure motion accuses the prime minister of having plunged Romania into a serious economic and social crisis.
Energy – The Romanian Parliament is today debating the rise in energy bills in Romania. The parliament has already decided to set up a committee to investigate the causes of the skyrocketing natural gas and electricity price hikes. The Labor Minister, Raluca Turcan, has pointed out that, one week after its adoption in Parliament, the Vulnerable Consumer Law has not yet been sent for promulgation. According to her, this is a law that provides financial aid to more than 500,000 households that need state support to be able to pay their bills during the winter season. On Tuesday, President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Florin Cîţu talked with representatives of the Enel energy company about the recent developments on the domestic energy market. Klaus Iohannis told Enel's management that it is necessary for companies in the sector and the authorities to coordinate their efforts to protect vulnerable consumers, and also companies that have already been strongly affected by the rising prices.
Strasbourg – The next year will be yet another test of character for the EU with new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and deeper fractures, said Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union Speech delivered Wednesday in the plenum of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The European official said the EU bloc would be stronger if it looked more like the "Next Generation". The debate on the state of the European Union takes place every year in September and it is a key moment in demonstrating the European Commission's responsibility to the democratically elected EU representatives.
Survey - Almost 2/3 of Romanian entrepreneurs (62%) do not feel the economic growth announced by the Government - show the results of a survey made by one of the most important producers of software for companies in Romania. According to the survey, only 9.5% of companies have registered increases in their turnover, and 26% do not notice any real change compared to 2020. Many entrepreneurs believe that instability and the lack of predictability will persist in the Romanian business environment in the current political context. (LS)